Nigeria: Nigeria is the most homophobic country in the world, according to a 2013 poll, which found 97 percent of citizens think society should not accept homosexuality. The laws reflect that: Same-sex couples face up to 14 years in prison and even public displays of same-sex affection are illegal.
Uganda: The spotlight has been focused on Kampala recently for its anti-LGBT policies. A law passed this week makes homosexuality punishable by up to life in prison, gay rights activists have been murdered, and gay citizens are widely discriminated against.
Zimbabwe: President Robert Mugabe has made a crusade out of homophobia – with widespread public approval. Last year, Mugabe threatened to behead gay Zimbabweans and described them as “filth.”
Saudi Arabia: Basing its law, it says, on a strict interpretation of Islamic law, the current Saudi regime has made gay sex punishable by death by the lash. But according to some reports from inside the Kingdom, that doesn’t mean homosexuality isn’t common.
India: Thought of as a highly tolerant society, it came as a surprise earlier this year when the country’s highest court reinstated a colonial-era law criminalizing gay sex. But the decision has been met with protests and the court’s decision is being challenged.
Honduras: There have been a spate of anti-LGBT hate crimes here in recent years. More than 80 LGBT people have been killed in anti-LGBT hate crimes since 2009 and LGBT-rights activist say they are shunned by their families and communities.
Jamaica: Sex between men is illegal, hate crimes are alarmingly common and the government seems reluctant to protect gays from violence. Senegal One of the most anti-gay countries in the world, according to a 2013 Pew poll, which found 96 percent of Senegalese think society should not accept homosexuality, only surpassed by Nigeria at 97 percent. Gay sex is illegal and discrimination is commonplace.
Afghanistan: It may no longer be under the rule of the Taliban (at least in much of the country), but harsh views toward homosexuality still remain. It’s still news when an Afghan comes out as gay, even from Toronto. Yet its male homosexual culture is widespread but rarely commented on.
Iran: Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Iran’s last president, famously told Americans: “We don’t have homosexuals in our country like you do.” His successor, Hassan Rouhani, elected last June, hasn’t made gay rights – or anti-gay legislation – a priority, but it’s already on the books. Homosexuality is illegal in Iran and can even be punishable by death in certain cases.
Lithuania: The Baltic state’s parliament is considering a law similar to Russia’s notorious anti-gay anti-propaganda law. And while homosexuality isn’t illegal, it has many opponents. Last year’s second-ever gay pride parade was interrupted by homophobic protesters.
Sudan: Homosexuality is punishable by death and even attempts at arranging a homosexual act can lead to a prison sentence. The good news is that there have been stirrings in recent years of a pro-LGBT rights movement.
The United States: We have undoubtedly made great strides in LGBT rights in recent years, from same-sex marriage to equality in the military. But Texas, Louisiana, South Carolina and several other states have laws on the books that resemble Russia’s anti-gay propaganda laws. And anti-LGBT hate crimes remain frighteningly common, especially against transgender people.
Photo: Gay rights activists hold placards during a protest against a verdict by the Supreme Court in New Delhi December 15, 2013. (Photo credit: Adnan Abid/Reuters)
Mass arrests targeting LGBT people are happening across Nigeria. Attacks are going unpunished by police. Nigeria’s LGBT community are asking us not to stay silent. Sign this petition now.
As Westerners deplore Russia’s recent anti-gay bill and continue to push Uganda to not enact draconian new anti-gay legislation, Nigeria last month passed a bill which not only outlaws same sex marriage but also criminalizes “shows of same sex affection” and participation and advocacy or even support for LGBT organization and individuals with up to 14 years in jail. Despite this, where is the outrage? I posted about this new law previously on tumblr, but was largely met with silence compared to other pieces I’ve written. Even a short post that simply required a reblog to stand in solidarity with Nigeria’s LGBT community was met with crickets by the tumblr community.
But why? Esteemed gay Nigerian activist, Bisi Alimi (@bisialimi) who was driven into asylum in the UK by a brutal homophobic physical assault in Nigeria several years ago, explores these questions in a recent opinion piece for beige. He shares a painful conversation he had with a gay Nigerian friend of his, which cuts to the heart of this point:
“Why such a loud silence?”…… He looked at me again, with even more desperation in his eyes. “This silence is killing me, it’s killing my friend, it’s killing LGBT people in Nigeria; why is the world silent on Nigeria?”
We, as LGBT Nigerians, are being hurt, killed and publicly humiliated everyday even moreso now with that this bill has passed but where is the outrage? Why does nobody in the international community seem to care?
Just recently two “allegedly gay” men were dragged out of their houses by a mob in Port Harcourt and forced to masturbate one another and then have anal sex in front of the crowd as they jeered, screamed and berated them. The entire incident was filmed as well by camera phones and shared widely to publicly shame and humiliate the men even more, and a video still from it is above.
In Northern Nigeria, which is under Muslim Shariah law and where homosexuality is punishable by public stoning, dozens of LGBT activists have been arrested since the passage of the bill. When a judge in the city of Bauchi “only” decided to punish a gay man with a whipping in his courtroom (which he’s pictured reenacting above) the crowd outside the courthouse was “disappointed” hoping that the convicted individual be stoned to death instead. When 7 other allegedly gay men were being arraigned in the Bauchi courthouse, a mob outside hailed stones and glass bottles into the court demanding a speedy trial and execution, and some even wanted to set the entire courthouse ablaze with them inside.
And yet despite all of this, all we are met with is silence? Why are our lives as LGBT Nigerians worth less than that of LGBT Russians whom the world is justly speaking out for after draconian anti-gay laws were recently passed there? Why, even more paradoxically, is it seemingly just a random “omission” and not necessarily racial because Uganda’s law and LGBT community has received significant support from the international community?
I understand the potential issues of Western LGBT organizations or even gay Nigerians in diaspora like myself speaking over the voices of gay Nigerians in Nigeria themselves. But we’re not. This petition and call to action which I’m linking here and asking you all to help share is coming from the “Solidarity Alliance” in Nigeria. Here is their message in full via allout.org:
On 14 January, we woke up the shocking news that President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan of the Federal Republic of Nigeria had assented to the bill passed the National Assembly prescribing 14 years imprisonment for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people.
Since the signing of this law, many people have been arrested in Nigeria. There were more than a dozen arrested and arraigned in Bauchi. There has been mob violence and the Nigerian LGBT community and straight allies are living in fear.
The government of the country are denying many Nigerians our fundamental human rights and criminalizing our relationships, movement and even sustenance.
What can you do to help? Sign the petition in support of our community, spread the word, and join in our Global Day of Action on 7 March.
This is important and lives really are on the line here, despite the silence from the international community. So please SIGN THE PETITION, share and signal boost this post and spread the word about the GLOBAL DAY OF ACTION IN SOLIDARITY WITH NIGERIA’S LGBT COMMUNITY ON MARCH 7.
So the blue 1up mushroom is mine and the green one is my coworker’s. He doesn’t know that I have one too even though I’ve had mine on my desk for a week now. Initially, I was just going to switch it out once because I like green better so I did but haven’t told him yet. Then when I came by his desk to tell him, he noticed that it was blue and said, “WTH?! I could’ve sworn it was green.” So I decided not to tell him and switch them out every time he leaves his desk. It’s been two days now.
my girlfriend is awesome
lolololol, this is hilarious!!